Thought Leadership

Rise of the Machines: Future Skills Beat AI at Its Own Game

  Edge Factor   |     December 21, 2020 |   4 minute read
future skills experience image

A small crowd had gathered under the lights of TV cameras in a sparse room in Philadelphia in 1997. The man being filmed, chess grandmaster and world champion Garry Kasparov, put his head in his hands: knowing what the crowd had not yet realized. Kasparov resigned the game, but he couldn’t shake his opponent’s hand, because his opponent was the computer Deep Blue. A computer had become better at chess than all the human players in the world.

Exactly twenty years later, thousands of miles away in another room in front of a crowd, a robot with strained, clumsy facial expressions named Sophia became the first robot citizen of any nation on Earth: another leap forward for artificial intelligence

How can we talk to our students about their future skills, their lives, dreams, and careers while pretending that AI technologies will not affect them? How can we even hope to give them the tools they need to thrive in a future of work when we aren’t even sure what the jobs will look like? Isn’t each person wondering when their own Deep Blue will come along and force us into checkmate? 


Check, Not Checkmate: Future Skills That Survive the Test of Time


We’re all apprehensive about losing our jobs to machines, so take a deep breath. There is good news. Parents and teachers and employers want to know what skills young people will need when they face a Deep Blue or a Sophia of their own. We know what skills they’ll need: the same skills people have always needed. 

The value of a hands-on education and the skilled trades have never been higher. Learning to craft furniture as a carpenter doesn’t just teach you how to build a chair: a machine can do that. Measuring the pieces, sanding the wood, creating a design, working with a team, these are all skills that teach you something about your life, and why you build things in the first place. Besides, it will be a long time before a machine can tell you why a chair is comfortable. 

People build things for community, to help others, to feel pride in their achievements, to learn to solve problems. These are all ambitions we can pass on to young people, and these are experiences young people remember for the rest of their lives. 

The FREE Future Skills Experience toolkit from Edge Factor gives educators the opportunity to prepare students for the workplaces of tomorrow by teaching them the skills of today. In January 2021, experience the change and excitement that’s coming to the world and help students experience new and current worlds of work through a STEAM lens. Teach students skills that never stop being useful. 


5 Days of Incredible STEAM-Based Learning


Every day of the Future Skills Experience promises to INSPIRE students and give them the tools they need to succeed in the fast-changing world of the near future, as well as the workplaces of today. 

Following the Edge Factor pedagogy of learning, Inspiration, Exploration, Preparation, and Connection, students will explore 5 days of STEAM-based instruction and:

  • Prepare for future and current career paths
  • Visit virtual workplaces, 
  • Learn valuable soft skills that are always necessary in any workplace, and 
  • Develop important STEAM knowledge that withstands the test of time.

Register for the Future Skills Experience Today


Register now to gain access to your Future Skills Experience, starting in January, and give the educational gift of skills that humanity will always require. 

Get your Edge Factor toolkit for future skills experience

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